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29 April 2015

Law Mutual Quarterly April Newsletter – eMutual

By now you will have received your annual contribution invoices for payment. You may also notice that there has been an increase in your contribution by approximately 12.5%. This increase was unavoidable given the claims history which has been recorded in the last few years. While we have previously been able to absorb any increased premiums in the last 3 years, we are no longer able to sustain this status quo. Every effort is taken to ensure premiums are restrained, however it is no longer possible to retain Insurers with our premiums remaining static.

Law Mutual has retained its Underwriters on the following terms:

  • QBE       50%
  • Vero       25%
  • Amlin     25%
  • Retention layer remains at the first $250,000 – which means that Law Mutual is responsible for the first $250,000 for any claims which arise with liability up to $5,000,000.
  • Level of cover remains at $2,000,000 for each and every claim.
  • After Law Mutual has expended the $5,000,000, a further $6,000,000 has been arranged with Insurers.

While our team is busy processing applications and invoices, you may experience a short delay in receiving an adequate response. Your patience and understanding is appreciated at this very busy time.

This edition also focuses on what you need to know about some changes which affect your professional responsibilities and obligations regarding compulsory risk management and inactive cases in the Magistrates Court. Also outlined are the changes to the allocation of continuing professional development points recently announced by the Legal Practice Board which came into place on 1 April 2015.

Before I sign off, I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Chair of our Professional Indemnity Insurance Management Committee, Dudley Stow who has become a life member of the Law Society. This edition we provide you with an introduction to Dudley in 'Know your team'.

For more information regarding Law Mutual, you can visit our website which continues to improve and develop.

Law Mutual is conducting an annual performance review

We would be grateful if you would spend 3 minutes of your time to rate our performance.

CATALYSE®, an independent research organisation, has been appointed to assist with this evaluation. All responses will remain private and confidential.

The closing date for providing responses is Friday, 8 May 2015.

To rate our performance please click here

If you have any questions about this evaluation, please contact Jo-Anne Munro at Law Mutual on

David Price
Chief Executive Officer

Know your Team

Dudley Stow

Mr Dudley Stow, Chair of the Professional Indemnity Insurance Management Committee, has recently been awarded life membership with the Law Society in recognition of his commitment to the profession and the Law Society, including his ongoing commitment to Law Mutual over the years.

Dudley had a varied practice in the commercial area, but also developed banking and finance skills, including acting for receivers and liquidators in workouts and dispositions of assets as well as the preparation of securities, acting mainly for institutional clients and corporations, with particular expertise in the area of property development, commercial agreements, reconstruction, joint ventures and family dispute/reconstructions/ resolution.

He was the senior partner of Freehills (now Herbert Smith Freehills) Perth and on Freehills National Board. He is a director of the largest car parking company in Australia as well as a director of a number of private companies. His roles within the Law Society of Western Australia include: President 2005 (4 months) and 2007-2009; Treasurer 2004; Vice President 2005; Senior Vice President 2005; Council member 1996-1999.

What's On

2014/2015 Compulsory Risk Management Seminars

Law Mutual, in conjunction with the Law Society, is delighted to be able to now offer online access to this year’s compulsory risk management seminars. Places are limited and will be released in stages.

What you need to do:

1. Go to our website and register your interest online by clicking the ‘book online’ tab and follow the prompts - you will receive an email confirmation to confirm your registration.

The online seminars will be released after the following dates:

30 April, 30 May, 15 June 2015

2. Around this time you will receive an email from the service provider asking you to create an account using a name such as jsmith with a simple password – an account needs to be created for each practitioner for identification and allocation of certificates and CPD points.

3. You will be required to complete a set of questions at the end of the seminar achieving at least 70%.

4. Upon successful completion, you will be able to generate your own individual certificate of attendance which you can retain for your records.


1. Should you experience any problems with the actual online seminar, please check your internet connections.

2. If you have not received an email from the service provider after your registration has been confirmed and after the release date, please check your spam inbox in case your spam filter has marked it as spam.

3. If you are having problems with your password or forgotten it, you can go to the ‘forgotten password’ tab located at the top right of the website page.

Any other problems or inquiries, please contact us at or telephone 9481 3111.

Annual Renewal Process

The Law Mutual team is nearing completion of issuing invoices to firms and practitioners who have submitted their application forms. If you have not submitted an application form to Law Mutual, you need to do this as soon as possible. If you are seeking an exemption from the Scheme, you also need to submit your application as soon as possible to satisfy the requirements for your practicing certificate to be issued by the Legal Practice Board of Western Australia. We are now in the process of accepting payments and issuing certificates of insurance. Payments need to be made by 15 May 2015 to avoid a late lodgement fee being applied.

Please remember to advise Law Mutual of any changes of email address or if it is your preference to have communications sent via the post. Unless we are advised to the contrary, all communications will be sent electronically.

If you are intending to practise law in Western Australia, it is a statutory requirement for you to hold a current Professional Indemnity Insurance policy. A Legal Practising Certificate can only be issued if you are compliant with this requirement. Further information on Profession Indemnity Insurance arrangements can be found on our website.

Don’t forget about Premium funding which is available to assist with smoothing payments. Further information is available on our website.

Change to CPD Rules

What you need to know:

As from 1 April 2015, there have been changes to the mandatory Continuing Professional Development obligations as a result of amendments made to the Legal Profession Rules 2009 (WA). One of those changes includes the addition of a new competency area.

The competency areas are now:

  • Competency Area 1 – Practice Management
  • Competency Area 2 – Professional Skills
  • Competency Area 3 – Ethics and Professional Responsibility
  • Competency Area 4 – Substantive Law

Further information regarding these changes is available on LPBWA - Continuing Professional Development.

How CPD points will be allocated to Law Mutual Risk Management seminars:

Up to April 2015

Competency 1: Legal Skills and Practice

1 point

Competency 2: Ethics and Professional Responsibility

1 point

After April 2015


Competency 1: Practice Management

0.5 point

Competency 2: Professional Skills

0.5 point

Competency 3: Ethics and Professional Responsibility

1 point


Risk Management Initiative: Quality Practice Standard

Law Mutual provides a 7% reduction in its professional indemnity insurance premiums to accredited QPS firms for the first year followed by a 5% reduction in its second and subsequent years.

Firms with QPS accreditation acknowledge the advantages in having risk management strategies in place to reduce claims prone situations.

The steps towards obtaining certification are:

  • Register your firm to the Quality Practice Standard;
  • Attend a compulsory seminar;
  • Prepare your practice manual (optional workshop is available to assist firms in complying with all sections of the Standard);
  • Undergo Desktop Audit;
  • Undergo Compliance Audit; and
  • Upon successful compliance audit, receive an Approved Quality Practice certificate and logo.

If your legal practice wishes to register for Quality Practice Standard (QPS), download the registration form.

Inactive Cases: Magistrates Court

What you need to know:

The Magistrates Court replicated the rules in the District and Supreme Courts by introducing an Inactive Cases List. As a result, there have been a large number of practitioners around Western Australia who have received notices from the Magistrates Court on actions they thought had gone away, advising them of the need to do something in six months or the action is dismissed. From a risk management perspective, claims could arise if practitioners don’t deal with the notices appropriately.

Find out more


Under the new CPD rules, are the online risk management seminars classified as interactive or non-interactive?

The online risk management seminar is an interactive seminar and attracts full points under the LPBWA CPD rules for the last CPD year as well as the new CPD year.

Practitioners who are insured through Law Mutual are obliged to complete the risk management training - accrual of CPD points is not a consideration and should not be the deciding factor in completing the training.

Law Mutual does not have an obligation to provide CPD that attracts points under the LPBWA rules - this is an added benefit for Insureds.

Currently all Law Society WA online seminars are classified as interactive and practitioners are able to earn all 10 CPD points in this manner.

Law Mutual, Level 4, 160 St Georges Tce, Perth

Phone: (08) 9481 3111, Fax: (08) 9481 3166

Email:, Web:

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